Grimsby

Grimsby, also Great Grimsby, is a port town and administrative centre of North East Lincolnshire, England, on the South Bank of the Humber Estuary close to the North Sea. It was the home port for the world's largest fishing fleet by the mid-20th century,[1] but fishing then fell sharply. The Cod Wars denied UK access to Icelandic fishing grounds and the European Union used its Common Fisheries Policy to parcel out fishing quotas to other European countries in waters within 200-nautical-mile (370 km) of the UK coast. Grimsby has since suffered post-industrial decline,[2] but food production has risen since the 1990s. The Grimsby–Cleethorpes conurbation acts as a cultural and economic centre for much of north and east Lincolnshire. Grimsby people are called Grimbarians;[3] the term codhead is also used jokingly, often for football supporters.[4][5][6] Great Grimsby Day is 22 January.[3]

Grimsby
Grimsby, Alexandra Dock- aerial 2015 (geograph 4402556).jpg
Aerial view of Grimsby
Grimsby is located in Lincolnshire
Grimsby
Grimsby
Location within Lincolnshire
Population88,243 (2011)
OS grid referenceTA279087
• London140 mi (230 km) S
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townGRIMSBY
Postcode districtDN31 – DN34, DN36, DN37
Dialling code01472
PoliceHumberside
FireHumberside
AmbulanceEast Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Lincolnshire
53°33′34″N 0°04′05″W / 53.5595°N 0.0680°W / 53.5595; -0.0680Coordinates: 53°33′34″N 0°04′05″W / 53.5595°N 0.0680°W / 53.5595; -0.0680

Geography

 
Map of the Grimsby Built-up area showing subdivisions

The town was named "Great Grimsby" to distinguish it from Little Grimsby, a village about 14 miles (23 km) to the south, near Louth. It had a population of 88,243 in the 2011 census and an estimated population of 88,323 in 2019.[7] It forms a conurbation with adjoining Cleethorpes and the villages of Humberston, Scartho, Brigsley and Waltham. The 2011 census gave the conurbation a population of 134,160,[8] making it the second largest built-up area in Humberside. It comes under the unitary authority of North East Lincolnshire. It is near the main terminus of the A180 at Cleethorpes.

The area had 65,804 males and 68,356 females according to the 2011 census, of whom just over 97 per cent were ethnically white. A religious affiliation was declared by under 61 per cent; over 31 per cent were non-religious and 7 per cent did not respond to the question.[9][10]

Grimsby lies in the national character areas of the Humber and the Lincolnshire coast and Marshes; it is predominantly low in topography. The town was historically settled on low-lying islands and raised areas of the Humber marsh; it expanded onto the surrounding marshes as they were drained. There are still areas named East Marsh and West Marsh. The Lincolnshire Wolds, where the town's River Freshney rises, lie to the south-west.

History

There is archaeological evidence of a small town of Roman workers in the area in the 2nd century CE of Roman occupation. Located on the River Haven, which flowed into the Humber, the site long provided a location for ships to shelter from approaching storms. It was well placed to exploit the rich fishing grounds in the North Sea.[citation needed]

Vikings

Sometime in the 9th century CE, Grimsby was settled by Danes. Legend has it that the name Grimsby derives from Grim, a Danish fisherman.[11] The suffix -by is derived from the Old Norse word býr for village (compare with Swedish: by). The legendary founding of Grimsby features in a medieval romance, the Lay of Havelock the Dane, but historians see this account as myth.

In Norse mythology, Grim (Mask) and Grimnir (Masked One) are names adopted by the deity Odin (Anglo-Saxon Woden) when travelling incognito amongst mortals, as in the short poem known as 'Grimnir's Sayings' (Grimnismal) in the Poetic Edda.[12] The intended audience of the Havelock tale (recorded much later as the Lay of Havelock the Dane) may have taken the fisherman Grim to be Odin in disguise.

The Odinic name "Grimr/Grim" occurs in many English place names in the historical Danelaw and elsewhere in Britain. Examples are numerous earthworks named Grimsdyke.[13] Other British place names with the element Grim are explained as referring to Woden/Odin (e.g. Grimsbury, Grimspound, Grime's Graves, Grimsditch, Grimsworne), and Grimsby is likely to have the same derivation.

Grimsby is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as having a population of around 200, a priest, a mill, and a ferry.

Medieval period

Grimsby developed in the 12th century into a fishing and trading port, at one time ranking twelfth in importance to the Crown for tax revenue. The town gained its charter from King John in 1201; the first mayor was installed in 1202.[14]

Grimsby is noted in the Orkneyinga Saga in this Dróttkvætt stanza by Kali Kolsson:

Vér hǫfum vaðnar leirur   vikur fimm megingrimmar;
saurs vara vant, er várum,   viðr, í Grímsbœ miðjum.
Nú'r þat's más of mýrar   meginkátliga látum
branda elg á bylgjur   Bjǫrgynjar til dynja.

We have waded in mire for five terrible weeks;
there was no lack of mud where we were, in the middle of Grimsby.
But now away we let our beaked moose [ship] resound merrily
on the waves over the seagull's swamp [sea] to Bergen.

 
St James' Church, now Grimsby Minster, before its extension

Grimsby had no town walls. It was too small and felt to be protected by the marshland around it. However, the town did a defensive ditch.

Grimsby had two parish churches, St Mary's and St James, in medieval times. Only St James, now Grimsby Minster, remains. It is associated with a folk tale of an imp who played tricks in the church and was turned into stone by an angel. (A similar tale is told for Lincoln Cathedral – see Lincoln Imp).

In the mid-14th century, the town benefited from the generosity of Edmund de Grimsby, a local man who became a senior Crown official and judge in Ireland.

In the 15th century, The Haven began to silt up, preventing ships in the Humber from docking. As a result, Grimsby entered a long period of decline until the late 18th century. By 1801, the population of Grimsby numbered 1,524,[citation needed] around the size it had been in the Middle Ages.

Rise of fishing and maritime industry

The Grimsby Haven Company was formed by Act of Parliament in May 1796 (the Grimsby Haven Act) for the purpose of "widening, deepening, enlarging, altering and improving the Haven of the Town and Port of Great Grimsby". After dredging of The Haven and related improvement in the early 19th century, the town grew rapidly as the port boomed, importing iron, timber, wheat, hemp and flax. New docks were needed to cope with the expansion. The necessary works were allowed under the Grimsby Docks Act of 1845.[citation needed]

The arrival of the railway in 1848 eased the transport of goods to and from the port to markets and farms. Coal mined in the South Yorkshire coalfields was brought by rail and exported through Grimsby. Rail links direct to London and the Billingsgate Fish Market allowed fresh "Grimsby fish" to gain nationwide renown. The first true fish dock opened in Grimsby in 1856, and the town became central to the development of the commercial fishing industry.

The Dock Tower was completed in 1851, followed by the Royal Dock in 1852. No.1 Fish Dock was completed in 1856, followed by No.2 Fish Dock in 1877. Alexandra Dock and Union Dock were completed in 1879. During this period, the fishing fleet was much expanded. In a rare reversal of usual trends, large numbers of fishermen from the South-East and Devon travelled North to join the Grimsby fleet. Over 40 per cent of the newcomers came from Barking in East London and other Thames-side towns.[15]

In 1857 there were 22 vessels in Grimsby. Six years later there were 112.[16] The first two legitimate steam trawlers built in Britain were based in Grimsby. By 1900, a tenth of the fish consumed in the United Kingdom was landed there, although there were also many smaller coastal fishing ports and villages involved.[16]

The demand for fish in Grimsby meant that at its peak in the 1950s it claimed to be the largest fishing port in the world.[17] The population grew from 75,000 in 1901 to 92,000 by 1931.

 
Grimsby fishing docks c. 1890

The Great Depression and restructuring of fishing caused a sharp decline in employment. Thereafter the population was fairly stable for the rest of the 20th century.[18]

Second World War

 
War memorial, Grimsby Dock
 
The current HMS Grimsby

The Royal Dock became the UK's largest base for minesweepers patrolling the North Sea. The Admiralty requisitioned numerous trawlers to serve the purpose for the Royal Naval Patrol Service. Often the crew were ex-trawlermen, alongside Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Navy volunteers. Trawlers used the winches and warps from fishing operations to tow a paravane with a cutting jaw through the water in what was known as a "sweep" to bring mines to the surface and allow for their removal.

This hazardous work lost the Patrol Service more vessels than any other Royal Navy branch in the Second World War; 2,385 men died.[19] Grimsby's Royal Naval Patrol Service veterans financed a memorial beside the Dock Tower to ensure that the bravery and sacrifice of their comrades were not forgotten.[19][20]

On 14 June 1943, an early-morning air raid by the Luftwaffe dropped several 1,000-kg bombs, 6,000 incendiary bombs and over 3,000 Butterfly Bombs in the Grimsby area,[21] killing 99 people. In total, Second World War bombing raids in Grimsby and Cleethorpes killed 196, while another 184 were seriously injured.[21] The Butterfly Bombs that littered the area hampered fire-fighting crews trying to reach locations damaged by incendiary bombs. The search for bodies continued for a month after the raid.[21]

HMS Grimsby is a Sandown class minehunter (commissioned in 1999) currently in service in the Royal Navy.

Post-Second World War

After the pressures placed on the industry during the Cod Wars and the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy, which redistributed fishing quotas to other EU nations, many Grimsby firms decided to cease trawling operations there. The sudden demise of the industry brought an end to a way of life and community that had lasted for generations. The loss of the fishing industry brought severe economic and social problems for the town.[22] Huge numbers became redundant, highly skilled in jobs that no longer existed, and struggled to find work ashore. As with the Ross Group, some firms concentrated on expanding industries within the town, such as food processing.

 
Post-war high-rise development on Grimsby's East Marsh, which was demolished in 2018

Grimsby's trawling days are remembered through artefacts and permanent exhibits at the town's Fishing Heritage Centre. A preserved 1950s trawler, Ross Tiger, is located here. Few fishing vessels still operate from Grimsby's docks, but the town maintains a substantial fish market important in Europe.[23]

Grimsby was struck by an F1/T3 tornado on 23 November 1981, as part of a record-breaking nationwide tornado outbreak that day.[24] From the mid-1980s, the former Humber ferry PS Lincoln Castle has been moored in Alexandra Dock. She was used during this time as a pub\restaurant, but despite her design and status as Britain's last coal-fired paddle steamer, the catering no longer yielded a profit. The ship was broken up in 2010.[25] Berthed in Alexandra Dock is the Ross Tiger, the last survivor of what was once the world's largest fleet of sidewinder trawlers.[26]

The town was described in The Daily Telegraph in 2001 as one "subjected to... many crude developments over the past 30-odd years" and a town which "seemingly shuns the notion of heritage."[27] Redevelopment was planned as part of Yorkshire Forward's Renaissance Towns Programme,[citation needed] but the scheme was abandoned in 2012.

In the early 21st century, the town faced the challenges of a post-industrial economy on top of the decline in its fishing industry. The East Marsh ward of the town is the second-most deprived in the country, according to government statistics.[28]

 
Offshore windfarm support vessels in Grimsby fish dock, with Ross House in background.

Governance

Since the December 2019 general election, Lia Nici (Conservative) has been the Member of Parliament for the Great Grimsby constituency, having won the seat from the former MP, Melanie Onn (Labour), who had served since 2015. This lost the seat to the Labour Party for the first time in 74 years, not least under Austin Mitchell (Labour, who held it from 1977 to 2015[29]

Great Grimsby
 
Grimsby Town Hall
 
Great Grimsby as a Borough of Humberside
Area
 • 19112,868 acres (11.61 km2)
 • 19615,881 acres (23.80 km2)
History
 • Created1835
 • Abolished1996
 • Succeeded byNorth East Lincolnshire
StatusTown Charter Granted 1201
Municipal Borough (1835–1889)
County Borough (1889–1974)
Borough (1974–1996)
 • HQGrimsby
 
Arms of Great Grimsby Borough Council

Great Grimsby formed an ancient Borough in the North Riding of Lindsey.[30] It was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835 and became a Municipal Borough in that year.[31] In 1889 a County Council was created for Lindsey, but Great Grimsby was outside its area of control and formed an independent County Borough in 1891.[31] The Borough expanded to absorb the adjacent hamlet of Wellow (1889), also the neighbouring parishes of Clee-with-Weelsby (1889), Little Coates (1928), Scartho (1928), Weelsby (1928) and Great Coates (1968). It had its own police force until 1967, when it was merged into the Lincolnshire force.[32]

In 1974, the County Borough was abolished[31] and Great Grimsby was reconstituted with the same boundaries as Grimsby non-metropolitan district in the new county of Humberside, under the Local Government Act 1972. The district was renamed Great Grimsby in 1979.

In the early 1990s, area local government in the area came under review from the Local Government Commission for England; Humberside was abolished in 1996. The former Great Grimsby district merged with that of Cleethorpes to form the unitary authority of North East Lincolnshire.[33] The town does not have its own town council, instead just a board of Charter Trustees. During 2007, in the struggle for identity, it was suggested that the district be renamed Great Grimsby and Cleethorpes, but this did not meet with favour among local residents, and the Council Leader dropped the idea a year later.[34]

Council wards

North East Lincolnshire Council has eight Council wards within the area of Grimsby:

  • Freshney Ward
  • Heneage Ward
  • Scartho Ward
  • South Ward
  • East Marsh Ward
  • Park Ward
  • West Marsh Ward
  • Yarborough Ward

Economy

 
Grimsby docks and fish market

The main sectors of the Grimsby economy are ports and logistics, food processing, specifically frozen foods and fish processing, chemicals and process industries and digital media.[22] To the east Cleethorpes has a tourist industry, and to the west along the Humber bank to Immingham there has been large-scale industrial activity since the 1950s, focused on chemicals and from the 1990s on gas-powered electricity generation.

Food industry

 
The Grimsby Ice Factory was built in 1900 to provide crushed ice for ships to keep stored fish cold.[35]

Grimsby is strongly linked with the sea fishing industry that once generated wealth for the town. At its peak in the 1950s, it was the largest and busiest fishing port in the world.[26] The Cod Wars with Iceland, and the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy sent this industry into decline for many years. In 1970 around 400 trawlers were based in the port, but by 2013 only five remained, while 15 vessels were being used to maintain offshore wind farms in the North Sea.[28] The town still has the largest fish market in the UK, but most of what is sold is brought overland from other ports or from Iceland by containerisation. Of the 18,000 tonnes of fresh fish sold in Grimsby fish market in 2012, almost 13,000 tonnes, mainly cod and haddock, came from Iceland.[28]

Grimsby today houses some 500 food-related companies, as one of the largest concentrations of food manufacturing, research, storage and distribution in Europe. The local council has promoted Grimsby as Europe's Food Town for nearly 20 years.[36] In 1999, the BBC reported that more pizzas were produced than anywhere else in Europe, including Italy.[37]

Grimsby is recognised as the main centre of the UK fish-processing industry; 70 per cent of the UK's fish processing industry is located there.[28] In recent years, this expertise has led to diversification into all forms of frozen and chilled foods.[22] It is one of the largest centres of fish processing in Europe. More than 100 local companies are involved in fresh and frozen fish production, the largest being the Findus Group (see Lion Capital LLP), comprising Young's Seafood and Findus, with its corporate headquarters in the town. Young's is a major employer, with some 2,500 people based at its headquarters. From this base, Young's has a global sourcing operation supplying 60 species from 30 countries.[38]

Traditional Grimsby smoked fish was awarded a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) in 2009 by the European Union. The traditional process uses overnight cold smoking from sawdust in tall chimneys, roughly 1 by 2 metres (3 ft 3 in by 6 ft 7 in) square and 10m high.[39]

Other major seafood companies include the Icelandic-owned Coldwater Seafood,[40] employing more than 700 across its sites in Grimsby; and Five Star Fish,[41] a supplier of fish products to the UK food market.

The £5.6 million Humber Seafood Institute,[42] the first of its kind in the UK, opened in 2008. Backed by Yorkshire Forward, North East Lincolnshire Council and the European Regional Development Fund, it is managed by the local council. Tenants include the Seafish Industry Authority and Grimsby Institute and University Centre. Greater Grimsby is a European centre of excellence in producing chilled prepared meals, and the area has Europe's largest concentration of cold-storage facilities.[43]

Docks

 
Area known as The Kasbah, Grimsby docks

The Port of Grimsby has been in use since the medieval period. The first enclosed dock, later known as the Old Dock, was built in the 1790s by the Grimsby Haven Company. Major expansion came with the railways and construction of the Royal Dock, Grimsby in the 1840s. A Fish Dock was added in 1857, and the fish docks expanded over the next 80 years. The Old Dock was expanded to form Alexandra Dock in the 1880s. The Kasbah is a historic area between the Royal Dock and Fish Dock marked by a network of streets that remains home to many artisan fish-processing businesses.[44]

Fishing activities were reduced to a fraction of former levels in the second half of the 20th century. The current port has become a centre for car imports and exports, and since 1975 for general cargo. In the early 21st century, it has developed as a wind-farm maintenance base.

Retail

 
Freshney Place

High-street shopping is focused on central Grimsby between the railway and River Freshney, where Victoria Street acts as a central pedestrianised shopping street with the undercover Freshney Place centre to the north. Freshney Place is visited by 14 million shoppers a year and employs over 2,000 staff.[45] The centre houses over 100 stores,[45] including Marks and Spencer and House of Fraser. Constructed between 1967 and 1971 in a joint venture between the old Grimsby Borough Council and developers Hammerson's UK Ltd., it was known as the Riverhead Centre (so named as the development was adjacent to where the two local rivers, the Freshney and the Haven, meet). Hammerson's UK Ltd began a £100 million redevelopment of the retail centre, doubling it in size. The expanded centre was covered in a glass roof. Two multi-storey car parks were constructed at each end of the centre; with this development, the old Top Town area of Grimsby was effectively privatised and roofed over. Stores are serviced at the first floor by ramps at the western end, which can accommodate even large vehicles. The ramp also provides access to the car park on the roof of the indoor market, which is operated by the local council. Freshney Place won a design commendation in the Refurbishment Category of the 1993 BCSC awards.[46]

In the town centre Bethlehem and Osborne Street are also mixed in use, hosting retail, legal and service functions to the south of Victoria Street. Many local independent stores operate, several at the Abbeygate Centre off Bethlehem Street. Once the head office of local brewers Hewitt Brothers, the building was renovated in the mid-1980s and now houses restaurants and designer clothing stores.

 
Freeman Street also known as "Freemo", Grimsby

The town also has two markets, one next to Freshney Place and the other in Freeman Street (B1213). This was a dominant shopping area with close connections to the docks, but industry and demographic changes have caused it to struggle since the late 1970s. Previously the town centre area was rivalled by the Freeman Street shopping area, located closer to the docks. Freeman Street retains its covered market. Grimsby town centre has re-emerged in prominence as the docks declined and shops such as Marks and Spencer relocated to central Grimsby.

Other developments near the town centre since the 1980s include the Alexandra Retail Park and Sainsbury's to the west of Alexandra Dock, an Asda store between the town centre and Freeman Street, and the Victoria Mills Retail Park off the Peaks Parkway A16,[47] which has several chain stores, including Next and close to a Tesco Extra (the second in the area.[48] B&Q opened a large store off the Peaks Parkway to the east of the town centre.[49] Unlike many towns where shopping has been built on the outskirts, these and similar developments were placed around Grimsby's town centre. This keeps shopping in a compact area, easier on pedestrians and public transport users.

 
Morrisons at Laceby

Some out of town development has taken place, with Morrisons constructing a store just outside the town boundary in the parish of Laceby. It is known as Morrisons Cleethorpes. This name derives from a period when the area was part of the now defunct Cleethorpes Borough. Most major supermarkets have expanded in the early 21st century, including Asda, and Tesco at Hewitts Circus, which is technically in adjoining Cleethorpes.

Such is the quality of shopping in the area that bus services bring shoppers from across Lincolnshire, especially smaller towns such as Louth,[50] Brigg, and Scunthorpe.[51]

Renewable energy

Grimsby is beginning to develop as an energy centre. It generates more electricity from renewable solar, wind, biomass and landfill gas than anywhere else in England.[52] The town gains 28 per cent of the electricity it uses from green sources.[52] Its proximity to the biggest cluster of offshore wind farms in Europe has brought around 1,500 jobs to the area, most of them in turbine maintenance.[52]

Education

 
Grimsby Institute and University Centre Grimsby

The numerous primary schools in Grimsby and coupled with secondary school that include Havelock Academy, Oasis Academy Wintringham and Ormiston Maritime Academy. Many pupils from the town also attend secondary education in Cleethorpes, Healing, Humberston and Waltham, and further afield Caistor Grammar. Independent schools in Grimsby include St James' School and St Martin's Preparatory School.

Franklin College is a sixth form college. The Grimsby Institute offers further and higher education courses mostly for vocational purposes. Its business courses have attracted a sizeable number of Chinese students in recent years.[53]

Transport

Grimsby lies 15 miles (24 km) from the nearest motorway, the M180, which continues as A180 into the town and acts as a link with the national motorway network.[22] The town is skirted by the A18, with the A46 passing through to provide a connection towards Lincoln, while the A16 links it to Louth and south and eastern Lincolnshire. The transport infrastructure was described in a report by the European Commission as strong and as a help to Grimsby's transition to a food-processing centre.[22] It was once derided as being "on the road to nowhere" by the writer and critic A. A. Gill.[54]

Buses

 
New bus provision in Grimsby known by some as the "Multicoloured stop swap" with Riverhead Exchange "Superstop" right.[55]

Grimsby's bus services are provided by Stagecoach in Lincolnshire, which took over from Grimsby-Cleethorpes Transport (CGT) in 1993. This had been formed in 1957 by a merger of separate Grimsby and Cleethorpes transport undertakings. Stagecoach had all the buses resprayed to their standard livery to replace the colour scheme of orange and white introduced in 1987. GCT ran a mixture of crewed and one-person operated services,[citation needed] but in 1982 the job of conductor was abolished.

In 2005, Stagecoach bought out Lincolnshire Road Car, which served South Killingholme, Louth, Barton-upon-Humber and the Willows Estate. The company is now known as Stagecoach in Lincolnshire. Joint ticketing began with Stagecoach Grimsby-Cleethorpes in May 2006.[citation needed] From September 2006, a new fleet of low-floor single-deckers was introduced, making the fleet an unprecedented 85 per cent low-floor.[citation needed]

The main bus exchange in Grimsby is Riverhead Exchange.

 
The A180 is the main route into Grimsby (from the west)

Railways

Grimsby has rail links via Grimsby Town railway station and Grimsby Docks railway station. There is a level crossing in the centre of the town across Wellowgate. TransPennine Express provides direct trains to Manchester Airport via Doncaster and Sheffield, whilst Northern Trains operates services to Barton-upon-Humber, for buses to Hull, and a Saturday service to Sheffield via Retford. Lincoln and Newark are served by East Midlands Railway services that continue to Nottingham on Sunday in the summer months. The service to Cleethorpes runs at least hourly during the day along a single track, passing stations at Grimsby Docks and New Clee.

Former trams

Grimsby had two tramway networks: the Grimsby District Light Railway and the Grimsby & Immingham Electric Railway.

Grimsby Electric was a normal-gauge tramway opened in 1912 between Corporation Bridge at Grimsby and Immingham. There was no physical connection with the railway system. It provided a passenger service between Grimsby and Immingham until it closed in 1961. It is claimed that once this was controlled by the corporation, it had more interest in supporting the motorbus service, now No. 45.

Grimsby Light Railway opened in 1881 using horse-drawn trams. In 1901, these were replaced with electric tramways.[citation needed] In 1925 the Grimsby Transport Company bought the tramway company and in 1927 moved the depot to the Victoria Street Depot, an old sea plane hangar.[citation needed] This system closed in 1937. The depot continues to be used by Stagecoach, although the old Grimsby Tramways livery is still visible on the front of the building.

Operating in the area until the 1950s was a network of electrically operated trolleybuses served by overhead power lines.[citation needed]

Airport

Humberside Airport is 14 miles (23 km) west of Grimsby and mainly caters for charter holidays. It is popular for general aviation, with five flying clubs based there.

Sport

Football

 
Blundell Park

The local football team Grimsby Town F.C., nicknamed The Mariners, has played since the 2016–17 season in Football League Two. Its ground is Blundell Park in Cleethorpes and it is often joked by locals that it is the only British club to play away every game. It is the oldest professional football team in the county of Lincolnshire and one of the oldest in the country, being formed in 1878 as Grimsby Pelham, with a home ground on land off Ainslie Street, Grimsby. During the 1930s Grimsby Town played in the English First Division, then the highest level of the domestic game in England. It also appeared in two FA Cup semi-finals in the 1930s: in 1936 (against Arsenal) and in 1939 (against Wolverhampton Wanderers). The latter semi-final was held at Old Trafford, Manchester, and the attendance (76,962) is still a record for the stadium.

Grimsby Town was relegated on 7 May 2010 to the Football Conference, losing its status as a League club.[56] It returned to the Football League after gaining promotion via the National League play-off final in 2016, beating Forest Green Rovers 3–1 at Wembley Stadium.[57] The team reached the FA Cup quarter-finals in 1987 and in 1998 won the Auto Windscreens Shield[58] and the second division play-off final. Notable former managers include Bill Shankly, Lawrie McMenemy and Alan Buckley.

Blundell Park's Main Stand is the oldest in English professional football. It was first opened in 1899, although only the present foundations date from this time. There have been plans to relocate the club to a new stadium, including one at the side of Peaks Parkway in Grimsby.[59]

Grimsby Borough F.C. is a football club established in 2003 and based in Grimsby. It belongs to the Northern Counties East League Division One. Cleethorpes Town F.C. plays in Grimsby, where it has a ground share with Borough of the Bradley Development Centre.

Other sports

An ice hockey club has been based in Grimsby since 1936.[citation needed] It has teams playing at various levels throughout the English Ice Hockey Association structure, under the name of Grimsby Red Wings. In 2009 the club added an ice sledge hockey team to ensure that it was able to offer a fully inclusive sport for the NE Lincolnshire area.

The amateur Rugby Union side, the Grimsby RUFC, and an amateur cricket side, the Grimsby Town Cricket Club, attract reasonable levels of support. The Grimsby Scorpions American Football team operated until 2014 before relocating to Hull, where it merged with Hull's team as Humber Warhawks. Despite playing in another county the club maintains representation of both East Yorkshire and North East Lincolnshire.

Tennis teams from local clubs have been successful in various inter-county competitions. The Men's Team from Grimsby Tennis Centre won the Lincolnshire Doubles League in 2005. Tennis players from the town represent the county on a regular basis at all age levels. Grimsby Tennis Centre underwent a major redevelopment of facilities in 2005 and is now wholly accessible to the disabled.

The town had one of the largest table tennis leagues in the country,[60] with over 120 teams competing in the 1970s, but like the game of squash, the sport has declined in the town during recent years.

Culture and attractions

Entertainment

 
The Grimsby Auditorium

Before the late 1960s many public houses in the area were owned by the local brewer Hewitt Brothers and had a distinctive local touch, but it was taken over in 1969 by the brewer Bass-Charrington. The pubs have been re-badged many times, closed or sold off.[61][62] The Barge Inn is a former grain barge converted into a pub/restaurant. It has been moored at the Riverhead quay since 1982.

 
Caxton theatre and arts centre

Musical entertainment is provided at the Grimsby Auditorium, built in 1995 in Cromwell Road, Yarborough, near Grimsby Leisure Centre. The smaller Caxton Theatre is in Cleethorpe Road (A180) in East Marsh, near the docks. The Caxton Theatre[63] provides entertainment by adults and youths in theatre. Notable in the area is the Class Act Theatre Company run by the local playwright David Wrightam.

North East Lincolnshire Council has installed a Wi-Fi network covering Victoria Street in central Grimsby. The service gives access to the Internet to the general public on a yearly subscription.

Grimsby's Freeman Street cinema closed in 2004,[64] leaving the Parkway cinema in Cleethorpes to serve the town. Periodic plans to build a new cinema in Grimsby have been made since.[65] The Whitgift Film Theatre in John Whitgift Academy shows a programme of limited release and art-house films.

Places of interest and landmarks

 
Corporation Bridge in foreground with Victoria Mill in background

Grimsby is the site of a Blue Cross Animal Hospital, one of only four in the country, the other three being in London. The Grimsby hospital, previously in Cleethorpe Road, moved in 2005 to a new building, Coco Markus House, in Nelson Street.

Media

The Grimsby Telegraph, had an audited circulation of 14,344 copies in 2017. It is based in Heritage House near the Fishing Heritage Centre.[67] The local radio stations are BBC Radio Humberside, Lincs FM, Viking FM and the exclusively North East Lincolnshire-based Compass FM, which ceased to be local in 2020. The transmitter for Compass FM and EMAP Humberside (Lincs FM DAB) is on top of a block of flats in East Marsh. Terrestrial television coverage based in the area comes from the BBC and ITV Yorkshire, which has a news unit based in Immingham. That's TV Humber (formerly Estuary TV and Channel 7 Television) broadcast on Freeview channel 8 and on Virgin Media channel 159.

Popular culture

Flooding

 
The River Freshney, which flooded in 2007

The Environment Agency has awarded Sheffield-based telemetry company CSE Seprol a contract to supply flood-warning devices for risk areas in East Anglia. The 18 sirens, at various locations round the flood-risk area of Grimsby and Cleethorpes, should reach 25,500 households to warn of flood danger. They will be sounded only in the event of the Environment Agency issuing a severe flood warning for tidal flooding, or if it is likely the sea defences will be breached. The sirens make various sounds, from the traditional wail to a voice message.[71]

Notable people

Listed in alphabetical order (Grimbarians were mainly born at the former Grimsby Maternity Hospital in Nunsthorpe, Grimsby. Many were born at the defunct Croft Baker Maternity Hospital in nearby Cleethorpes. Those born and/or brought up nearby include:

People with Grimsby connections:

Twin cities

Grimsby's twin cities include:

  • Tromsø, Norway, since 1961
  • Bremerhaven, Germany, since February 1963
  • Banjul, The Gambia
  • Dieppe, France
  • Akureyri, Iceland. In 2007, a friendship and fisheries agreement was signed with Akureyri which according to Ice News, might lead to a twin cities designation in the future.[82]

As a port with trading ties to Continental Europe, the Nordic nations and Baltic Europe,[83] the town houses honorary consulates of Denmark,[84] Iceland,[85] and Norway.[86] Swedish and Finnish honorary consulates are located in Immingham,[87][88] and that of Germany at Barrow-upon-Humber.[89]

The people of Norway have sent a tree to the town of Grimsby every Christmas since the end of the Second World War. The Norwegian city of Trondheim sent a tree for 40 years until 2003, since when the tree has been donated by the northern Norwegian town of Sortland and placed in the town's Riverhead Square.[90][91][92][93] During redevelopment of Riverhead Square the tree has been placed in the Old Market Place since 2013.

See also

References

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External links